A-State Women's Basketball Earns Best League Start in School History

Published: Jan. 23, 2016 at 11:51 PM CST
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SAN MARCOS, TX (astateredwolves.com) – The Arkansas State women's basketball remained perfect in Sun Belt Conference play with a 74-59 victory over Texas State Saturday afternoon at Strahan Coliseum.

The Red Wolves moved to 8-0 in the league and now own the best start to a conference season in school history. With the win, A-State also improved to 14-3 overall and will return home for four straight games over the next two weeks.

Senior Jessica Flanery scored a career-high 24 points and tied a career-high with six made 3-pointers in the contest to power Arkansas State offensively. Aundrea Gamble added 23 points and five rebounds, while Khadija Brown-Haywood nearly missed a double-double with 14 points and nine boards.

"It is a really good road win and this just caps off a really good stretch of four games in eight days," A-State head coach Brian Boyer said. "I just told the players that they played really well during this stretch and they have just saved the best performance for last."

A-State held a five point margin at halftime, but outscored Texas State 25-15 in the third quarter to help expand its lead. Gamble scored 10 points and helped the Red Wolves go on a 21-5 run midway through the period to go up 61-44.

The Bobcats (9-8, 4-3) went scoreless for over six minutes and the committed five turnovers that led to eight points on the offensive end for A-State.

Arkansas State held a 19 point margin with 2:52 to go in the third quarter, but Texas State shot itself back into the game with a hot hand from beyond the arc. The Bobcats went 10-of-18 from the 3-point line and shot 46.2 percent from the field on the afternoon.

Texas State used a pair of 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to spark an 8-0 run to cut the lead down to 67-57 with 4:53 remaining, but Gamble hit a jumper in the paint, while Amanda Lawson, Brown-Haywood and Flanery combined to score the game's final five points to seal the victory.

Flanery shot the Red Wolves out of a slow start with a pair of 3-pointers to help keep pace with Texas State. Arkansas State started the game 2-of-13 from the field, but found it's stroke midway through the opening period and used a 9-0 run to build a 21-11 lead.

"Call it experience or whatever it is because this team always seems to find a way," Boyer said. "We got down early but they found way to get back in it and Jess was a big part of that and we needed it today."

Lauren Bradshaw provided a spark on the defensive end with three blocks in the quarter, while Flanery drained three, 3-pointers to give A-State a 21-13 edge after the opening 10 minutes.

Flanery continued to stay hot in the second quarter and hit two more from beyond the arc, but Texas State took advantage of its quickness got easy points in transition to pull within 36-31 at halftime behind a 15 points effort by Flanery.

The Mountain View, Ark., native tied a career-high with six made 3-pointers during the game, a mark she had previously set at Texas State in 2014.

Offensively, the Red Wolves shot 40.8 percent (29-of-71) from the field and held a 42 to 28 edge on the boards, including a 22-8 edge on the offensive glass. The Red Wolves also went 9-of-10 from the free throw line and forced Texas Sate into 21 turnovers.

Arkansas State returns home to host Georgia State Thursday, Jan. 28.